Rhubarb souffle, from the boot

Now that you have conquered the souffle, it’s time to get arrogant. This is the sort of souffle you can prepare at home, toss in the boot of a car, and cook it at a friend’s place. And it’s impossibly simple.

This one’s made with rhubarb, but any fruit that produces a thick richly flavoured puree will do the job.

4 stems of rich red rhubarb (green rhubarb is fine for flavour, not so good for colour)

50g sugar for stewing the rhubarb

6 egg whites

30g sugar for whisking the whites

a few berries for a surprise in the middle of the souffle


Cook the rhubarb with the sugar to take away the tartness. Puree and sieve once the rhubarb has softened. You should have about three cups of lovely pink puree.


Allow to cool, then whisk the whites with the sugar.


Keep aside a half a cup of puree. Fold the rest of it with the egg whites, starting with half the egg whites, then the rest. Make sure that the mix remains reasonably firm and very airy, and that it still has a powerful rhubarb taste. Add some more rhubarb if you are not perfectly happy. It won’t be a grand success unless it is richly flavoured.


Butter the moulds well and pour a centimetre of rhubarb puree into each mould, and put a couple of berries on top of the puree.


Spoon the souffle mix into the bowls. Put the lot in the fridge until you are ready to cook. You could even do it the day before; just make sure you fold the mix together again. When the time is ripe, sneak away from the dinner table, bake the souffles in a 200°C oven for 18–20 minutes, and return triumphant.

WINE: As you return to the table triumphantly, why not pop a bottle of top — class bubbly. It’s a delicate souffle and could be overpowered by a wine too sweet.